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Loving My Actual Life: An Experiment in Relishing What's Right in Front of Me Paperback – May 3, 2016
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"If you ever get the chance to read anything written by Alexandra Kuykendall, take it. She is a gentle, trustworthy storyteller who lives the words she writes about. In a noisy world, I deeply appreciate her thoughtful, grounded voice." ---Emily P. Freeman, author of Simply Tuesday --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From the Back Cover
What if you could actually love the life you are living right now?
In life, there is the ideal: fulfilling work, thriving relationships, financial security. Not to mention an orderly and beautiful home and children who never misbehave. And then there's reality: frustrations, illness, feeling overwhelmed and inadequate. We can wait around for our circumstances to change and in the process miss the goodness right in front of us. Or we can choose to love our actual lives, right here and now.
In this entertaining and insightful book, Alexandra Kuykendall chronicles her nine-month experiment to rekindle her love of her ordinary, actual life. After wiping her calendar as clean as a mother of four can, Kuykendall focuses on one aspect of her life each month, searching for ways to more fully enjoy her current season. By intentionally adding one thing each month that will make her jump for joy, she provides a practical challenge you can easily replicate in your life. With humor, poignancy, and plenty of personal stories, she shows how a few small changes can make this crazy-busy life one of holy contentment.
"If you ever get the chance to read anything written by Alexandra Kuykendall, take it. She is a gentle, trustworthy storyteller who lives the words she writes about. In a noisy world, I deeply appreciate her thoughtful, grounded voice."--Emily P. Freeman, author of Simply Tuesday
"We can spend our lives wishing for tomorrow, or decide to enjoy God's goodness today. In this book, Alex shares how we can cherish each season and find the gold already there."--Rebekah Lyons, author of Freefall to Fly
"Entertaining and insightful, honest and winsome, challenging and comforting."--Elisa Morgan, speaker; author; cohost, Discover the Word radio; president emerita, MOPS International
Alexandra Kuykendall spends most of her days chauffeuring her kids and searching for a better solution to the laundry dilemma. The author of The Artist's Daughter, she was on staff with MOPS International for nearly ten years and is a trusted voice in mothering circles. She lives in the shadows of downtown Denver with her husband and their four daughters. Connect at AlexandraKuykendall.com.
Top customer reviews
Inspired by her experiment, I've been making small changes on a practical level as well. I had thought that I was doing as much as I could under the circumstances. However, I'm seeing now that if I tweak certain habits, even small ones, it can have a significant impact on my mood and stress levels. I'm planning to continue my own experiment, because why wouldn't I want to learn to love the life I've been given. I'm so grateful for Kuykendall's authentic sharing of her journey. She is both a normalizing voice and an inspiring one.
Each chapter covers a month and a topic, and Alexandra Kuykendall journals about a paragraph for most days. Then at the end of the chapter, she sums up what she learned that month and has questions to ponder and a Bible verse to memorize.
This book reminded me of Jen Hatmaker's 7: an Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, except that it wasn't as funny or thought provoking. I guess the book was very basic, everyday. And I think that her point was that our lives are often very basic, but we can still "love our actual life." I guess I just like to read to be inspired to reach beyond the everyday.
You can't just read a book about a woman's experiences if you want to change; you have to walk your own path to learn these things. And she does encourage women to follow in her footsteps by including lists in the back of the book. She writes tips on how to implement the ideas she talked about. For instance, she has ten ways to find quiet during the day.
I would probably recommend this to encourage a working mom since she does talk a lot about balancing work and kids and sports.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.